Martin Pleiss is a 1992 BFA graduate with an emphasis in sculpture and printmaking. After graduation, he put his talents for fabricating and printing and his artistís eye to good use as a museum exhibition designer and preparator.
Since 1998, Martin has been in charge of design and installation of the exhibitions at the Dayton Art Institute. This involves moving and handling the work, making sure that it is maintained in perfect condition, building any necessary exhibition cases and other props, lighting the show, and all of the other details involved in the classy exhibitions you see when you visit. It sounds straightforward: until you think about a few of the challenges Martin has faced. How do you move a 2-ton, 7-foot, 3,000 year old stone sculpture? What wall color is the best complement for a Rembrandt painting? In what order do you move and reinstall 300 paintings with the least amount of disruption to the public? How do you make certain that 1,800 light fixtures are working every day? Martin has met all of these challenges and more. He successfully completed the movement and assisted in the installation of over 20 tons of glass in 550 boxes for the Chihuly exhibit. Heís accompanied works of art as a courier, including Monet and Hopper paintings, the entire Ansel Adams traveling exhibit, and even a T-rex dinosaur bone and a moon rock!
Paradoxically, the less you notice his work and the more you focus on the art the more successful his design. Perhaps the next time you visit the Dayton Art Institute, youíll notice the consummate professionalism of the installation.